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Use these six steps to conduct a legally compliant risk assessment and get it done in just one day

by , 03 February 2015
The OHS Act says you must do a risk assessment, so you can base your health and safety programme on the risks you've identified.

Now, most people think this process takes days, even weeks, to finish. But this isn't true,

Today, I'll show you the six steps you must follow to complete your risk assessment in just one day...

Follow these six steps to conduct a legally compliant risk assessment in no time

Step 1: Check for any previous risk assessments you did to comply with other laws. If you find them, check to see how old they are and if they're up-to-date. If they are, you don't have to do another risk assessment.
But they're if older than a year, you need to do another assessment.
*********** Hot off the press  ************
Take this quick quiz to find out if you can handle the DoL hot seat
·         Which risk assessments have to be checked by an approved inspector every two years?
·         Is it absolutely necessary for your company to appoint and train someone as a risk assessor?
·         When was the last time you did a risk assessment? (Is that too long?)
·         Have you checked and double checked the less obvious health hazards?
If you can't answer even one of these questions you're not only putting your employee's lives at risk; you're also putting yourself in danger of massive fine from the DoL.
Don't wait until it's too late.
Learn how to do your risk assessments correctly here.
Step 2: Choose someone to do the risk assessment for you. This person must have the right training, knowledge and experience to do risk assessments. He must also know and understand the activities he has to assess.
You don't have to choose someone from outside your company. If one of your employees, like your health and safety representative, has the right experience, he can do it.
Step 3: Together with the person doing the assessment, make a list of all the different jobs people do in your company.
Then work through each and identify the hazards involved. Different activities can cause several hazards.
And remember, there's a difference between a hazard and a risk. A hazard might harm, but a risk is likely to cause harm.
Step 4: The person doing the assessment must do an observation of your workplace. He must use the jobs and hazards you listed as a guide. This will help him identify and confirm these hazards.
Step 5: He must identify the control measures you already have in place to reduce the risk. He mustn't focus on what your policies and rules say should happen. He must look at what is happening to see if employees use your control measures properly.
Step 6: He must categorise the risk. This is a very important step.
These are the areas you'll need to spend time, money and effort on. Depending on the category, the amount of time, money and effort will change.
The best way is to identify the category of hazards and risks is to use a rating system. For example:
1: Serious hazard with serious risks;
2: Serious hazard with medium risks;
3: Medium hazards with medium risks;
4: Minor hazard with minor risks; and
5: Minor hazard.
With this scale, one is the most important and five is the least. Spend more resources dealing with category one hazards than category fives.
These six steps will help you complete your risk assessment simply and quickly.
To make sure your risk assessment is also 100% legally compliant, check out the Risk Assessment Toolkit.

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